Clarks Hill: Level: 4.1 feet low. Temp: 52-55 degrees. Clarity: The lower end is clear, but the upper tributaries are muddy.
Bass: Fair. Craig Johnson is scratching his head because the fish are acting strangely. “They’re in the ditches from like 10 o’clock on; I can’t get bit before 8,” said Craig. “Usually it’s just opposite. You run in and pop your 20 first thing and you’re gone.” For ditch fishing, Craig likes a 1/2-oz. Ditch Witch with a white Fat Albert grub. This month look for big fish to move onto the flats, and the main-lake and secondary points. Craig usually is fishing in three feet of water with his boat two or three casts from the bank. “I like a gold Rat-L-Trap, and you’ll have to reel it just as fast as you can,” said Craig. “I’ll be looking for stained water.” Craig likes a No. 5 Shad Rap the last half of the month. “I throw crawdad color most of the time,” said Craig. He’ll also chunk a Norman Middle-N in a brown-chartreuse pepper color.
Linesides: Slow to fair. Capt. Dave Willard said this time of year is pretty slow on numbers, but it’s a great time to catch a big fish. “We’ve been pulling planer boards in the shallows later in the afternoon as the water warms and fish pull up late in the day,” said Dave. “We’ve been catching a few teenagers. Mornings are just not real great, because it’s too cold.” Dave looks for clear water, so he’s been fishing Parksville, Bass Alley, Keg and Cherokee creeks. “You may have to run and gun until you find fish, but when you do they may be holding along that stretch of bank for several days,” said Dave. “They’ll get up in one to two feet of water; sometimes the key has been to bump that planer board right on the bank.” Key on bait, and look for birds. Capt. William Sasser mimics the same report as Dave; however, William said to fish the Raysville area, too. He puts about 10 feet of line out behind his planer board. “I move a little faster than a lot of guys,” said William.
Crappie: Slow. William has really been struggling with a deep crappie bite. “There are no big concentrations of fish in deep water,” said William. “I’ve been catching a few pushing a spider rig in eight feet of water in the afternoons.” William has been pushing above the pumping station, which is above Raysville. “In February, I’ll be looking for crappie in 30 feet of water in brush,” said William. “I’ll drop a minnow to them.”